Fungible Life: Experiment in the Asian City of Life
Aihwa Ong is Robert H. Lowie Distinguished Chair in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, the author of Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty and Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality, and the coeditor of Asian Biotech: Ethics and Communities of Fate, all also published by Duke University Press.
Epilogue: A DNA Bridge and an Octopus’s Garden
The epilogue returns to the ethical quandaries of a technology that, by seeking a pluripotent fate, may indeed open us up to a multitude of “unknown unknowns.” The author contrasts the two Asian models of biomedical entrepreneurialism. Biopolis deploys the ethnic heuristic to shape a transborder biomedical zone and act as a “DNA bridge” to American cosmopolitan science. The author argues that Singaporean humanists, social scientists and philosophers need to start a public conversation about the wide-ranging implications of experiments with life in their midst. What are the benefits and uncertainties of sequencing DNA and perturbing cells as lifesaving therapies...